Gulf of Aden Security Review

A regularly updated review of both Yemen and the Horn of Africa covering topics related to security, governance, and militant activity.

Yemen: AQAP kills former director of al Mahfad, Abyan in south Yemen; President Obama will host President Hadi on August 1, Hadi to undergo heart surgery in Cleveland, Ohio; security forces stop jail-break in Sana’a; gunmen execute “sorcerer” in Aden; al Houthis clash with Salafists in Dhamar

Horn of Africa: Somali and AMISOM troops conduct security operations in Beledweyne, Hiraan region; al Shabaab attacks Somali and AMISOM troops in Heliwa district, Mogadishu; seven al Shabaab militants defect in Lower Shabelle region; Somali man sentenced to prison in San Antonio, Texas; UN report highlights known terrorist in Kenya and Tanzania; Somali cabinet holds security meeting; Puntland president comments on upcoming Somalia conference; extradited Somali terrorist fights citizenship ruling

Yemen Security Brief

  • Suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) gunmen assassinated Sheikh Yaslim al ‘Anbawri, the former director of al Mahfad, Abyan governorate, in Aden on July 26.[1]
  • President Barack Obama will host President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi at the White House on August 1. Yemeni newspaper Al Oulaye reported that during his trip President Hadi will also undergo serious heart surgery at Cleveland Clinic, the number one cardiology center in the U.S.[2]
  • Security forces in Bani Matar, Sana’a governorate stopped an armed attempt to free a prisoner on July 25. The inmate is accused of cutting off a road and robbery. The gunmen, from Da’ar region, ambushed the vehicle transporting the prisoner, but retreated after exchanging fire with the guards.[3]
  • Armed men executed a Somali man in Dar Sa’ad, Aden governorate on July 25 on suspicion that he was a “sorcerer.”[4] 
  • Armed clashes between al Houthi and Salafist groups in Ma’bar city, Dhamar governorate killed one al Houthi and wounded three Salafists on July 25.[5]
  • Ansar al Sharia in Tunisia published a disc on July 22 compiling all of Said al Shihri’s lectures and writings since 2009, including his postings on jihadist forums under the name “Abu Asma’a al Kubi.”[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali and AMISOM troops conduct security operations in Beledweyne, Hiraan region on July 25. During the searches, 74 people were arrested but only 25 suspected al Shabaab militants remain in custody.[7]
  • Al Shabaab militants attacked Somali and AMISOM troops in Heliwa district, Mogadishu on July 24. Al Shabaab used rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) to target Somali and AMISOM positions but eventually retreated from the area. Casualties from the incident are not known.[8]
  • Seven al Shabaab fighters defected to the Somali government in Lower Shabelle region on July 20.[9]
  • Abdullah Omar Fidse, a Somali man with ties to al Shabaab, was sentenced to eight years in prison on July 25 in San Antonio, Texas. Fidse was convicted of lying to FBI officials and in recorded conversations was heard plotting an attempt to kill the U.S. ambassador to Kenya and admitting to arms trafficking in Somalia.[10]
  • The July 17 report released by the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea highlights a major emerging terrorist in Kenya and Tanzania. Abubakar Shariff Ahmed a.k.a. Makaburi has ties to al Hijra in Kenya (formerly Muslim Youth Center) and Ansar Muslim Youth Center in Tanzania. Makaburi is currently incarcerated but is known to exert influence among terrorist organizations in East Africa.[11]
  • The Somali Federal Cabinet held a meeting to discuss security measures in Mogadishu on July 25. During the meeting, the ministers decided on the salary of Somali troops.[12]
  • Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole, in a meeting with European Union representatives in Garowe, Nugaal region on July 25, said that Puntland would represent itself at the upcoming Somalia conference in Belgium.[13]
  • Suspected Somali terrorist Mahdi Hashi, currently incarcerated in the United States, is attempting to fight a British government ruling that revoked his British citizenship. He argues that the British government unlawfully revoked his citizenship to allow his extradition to the U.S.[14]  

[1] Ahmed al Haj, “Suspected al-Qaida militants kill Yemen official,” Associated Press, July 26, 2013. Available:
“Breaking: Assassination of Sheikh Yaslim al ‘Anbawi in al Mamadara, Aden,” Barakish, July 26, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Yemeni Newspaper Reveals Hadi Will Undergo Second Dangerous Heart Surgery in America,” al Ain Online, July 26, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Attempt to Free Man Accused of Cutting off Road and Robbery Foiled,” Barakish, July 25, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Aden: Armed Elements Execute Man in Dar Sa’ad on the Accusation of Sorcery, and Another in Sheikh Othman,” Sada Aden, July 26, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Houthi Killed and Three Salafists Wounded in Clashes in Ma’abr, Dhamar,” Aden Post, July 26, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Ansar al Shariah in Tunisia Releases Archive Disc of AQAP Official’s Work,” SITE, July 25, 2013. Available: SITE Intel Group
[7] “74 Arrested in Beledweyne Security Operation,” Bar Kulan, July 25, 2013. Available:
[8] “Somali Security Forces, AU Troops’ Bases Attacked in Mogadishu,” Dhacdo, July 25, 2013. Available:
[9] “Somalia: Al Shabaab Fighters Surrender to Government, AU Forces,” London Universal TV, July 20, 2013. Available:
[10] “Suspected Terrorist Headed to Federal Prison,” My San Antonio, July 25, 2013. Available:
[11] “UN Report Links Suspect to Latest Terror Threat,” Standard Media, July 25, 2013. Available:
[12] “Somalia: Cabinet Meet Focuses on Security, Parliament Summons Interior Minister,” Garowe Online, July 25, 2013. Available:
[13] “Somalia: Puntland ‘to Attend Brussels Conference with Own Status’: Farole,” Garowe Online, July 25, 2013. Available:
[14] “UK Terror Suspect Mahdi Hashi Fights Citizenship Ruling,” BBC, July 26, 2013. Available:
View Citations
Arrow down red
Aug '13
Jul '13
Jun '13